Wednesday 19 August 2009

E14 Conquers Japan

Have you ever seen the movie Brazil? It’s a great piece of cyberpunk dysoptian yadda-yadda, you know how this goes. Anyway, the main storyline of Brazil kicks off when a dead fly drops into a printer, causing a man’s name to be misspelt on an arrest form. As a result, an innocent man is sent off for interrogation, and a chain of events unfolds. I mention this because I can think of no other logical explanation as to why I should currently be on a jet-plane travelling back from Hokkaido having just participated in a Sumo wrestling tournament.

Two days ago, my agent telephoned to tell me that I had been booked for a show in Hokkaido, Japan. Now, Bjorn is a little quirky at times, and prone to bouts of forgetfulness, so I phoned him up with a gentle reminder that I don’t actually speak Japanese. “No, it’s okay,” he promised me, “you won’t have to do much talking. Just think of it as a promotional thing for E14. You turn up, do some waving, a few autographs, meet the Mayor, push some fat guys out of a circle drawn on the ground in salt, take the first pitch of a baseball game...”

“Wait, do what?”

“Baseball. It’s kind of like cricket, only square instead of in a straight line.”

“No, the one before that.”

“Meet the Mayor.”

“No, forward one.”

“Push some fat guys out of a circle drawn on the ground in salt?”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“It’s one of those charity events they have out there. It’s sort of like a Japanese Children in Need, only instead of having a TV fundraiser, they have a knock-out combat sport tournament; and instead of the money going to charity, it goes to the winner of the tournament. With twelve per cent going to his agent.”

Landing at the airport, I was taken in to the hotel. Assuming that this was so I could, you know, unpack my bags and stuff, I was rather taken aback when I was told that this was for the weigh-in. I weighed in at about fourteen stone. My opponent, who I shall refer to for humorous reasons as “E. Honda”, clocked in at just over twenty. I decided that it was time for some match promotion – Brad Harmer style. Grabbing the microphone from the compere, I yelled across “Hey, Honda. Yo’ mamma so fat, she...nearly as fat as you.”

Honda looked at me, obviously not familiar with English. A small fellow leaned into his ear, muttered what was presumably a translation, and Honda delivered his reply, which was similarly relayed to me. “He says he will crush you like Godzilla crushed Tokyo.” whispered the translator.

“Oh, yeah? Well you tell him that I’ll float like Mothra and sting like...erm...Varan!”

I discovered that my bout was due to take place the following evening. This left me a mere twenty hours to fully comprehend all of the rules of Sumo wrestling, get into shape, ready myself for the match and make a note to get a new agent.

I decided that probably the best thing I could do would be to at least TRY and look the part of a sumo-wrestler. I went to my room and fashioned myself a nappy out of my beach-towel. Unfortunately, I don’t go to the beach very often, so beach towels don’t get a lot of wear with me. So, this happened to be the same beach towel I had owned since I was eight. As a result, by the time I had finished, my crotch was decorated with the snarling face of Megatron.

I then moved onto the only other thing that I knew about Sumo wrestlers: their weight. I slapped my stomach experimentally. I’m not overly fat – but I’ve got that “used to be skinny but is now getting a bit too old to be eating and drinking crap anymore” look. As far as I could see it, I had a few hours in which to put on as much weight as possible. And this called for just one thing – McDonalds – Sumo Style!

I headed down into the car, ignoring the looks that my Decepticon Crotch drew. They were just jealous. I did, however, later discover that by an amazing fluke Ravage was covering my backside. This probably drew an equal number of stares.

In all seriousness, it’s an easy country to make fun of, but I absolutely love Japan. It’s probably the only country in the world I could go to where I could walk into a McDonald’s dressed only in a 1980s beach towel, and only be the third weirdest looking person there. I made my way up to the counter, and via the age old method of speaking English loudly and clearly, whilst pointing emphatically, I managed to make myself understood.

Twelve Big Macs later, I was feeling rather run down. And bloated. Yup, definitely bloated. I made my way back to the hotel, and tried to avoid doing any exercise, hoping that this would encourage the calories to turn into fat, or however the hell it works. I never paid much attention in Home Economics. Or Biology. Whichever.

The day of the fight, I made my way to the stadium to get an eyeful of the set up there. I’d caught Sumo wrestling on the TV a few times, but I could usually only watch about ten minutes before getting bored and switching over to virtually any other sport in the world (except curling). I understood there were two fat semi-naked guys shoving each other around, but that was pretty much the limit of my knowledge.

After a while, the camera crews and what-not started turning up and I began to give them some devil-horns, shouting “E14 for the win!” and what-not. They seemed to nickname me “Robotto Ochinchin”, which worked fine for me. Sounded pretty cool anyway. Then E. Honda turns up, and it’s all business from here on in, boys.

There’s the usual pre-match waffling from the commentator. Honda throws a handful of salt at me, so I throw some at him. Bjorn had warned me about this part of it, so it wasn’t so bad. When the match started, though, I realised that this whole thing was a bad idea. You can laugh and joke all you want, but when a 20 stone man dressed only in a big nappy runs at you, it’s nearly enough to make you shit your Ravage.

I did, however, have the edge when it came to speed. I must have run around that ring for a good twenty minutes before Honda began to show any signs of flagging. With one last burst of energy, I threw myself at him, and straight into his bearhug.

If you’ve never been bear-hugged by a sumo wrestler, it’s really warm. Oh, yeah, and you can’t breathe. That’s a bit of a shitter. I struggled valiantly against him, but to no avail. Finally, I did the only thing I could think of: I chundered up twelve Big Macs into his armpit. E. Honda seemed (perhaps unsurprisingly) repulsed, and staggered back a little. Then, there was an almighty clanging sound, and his eyes rolled back up into his head.

I stood aghast as E. Honda collapsed to the floor, only to see standing in the ring holding a steel chair emblazoned with the E14 logo: Rutger Hauer! “Bjorn said you might need a hand promoting this thing over here...looks like I turned up just in the nick of time!”. He smiled as a bunch of pyros went off, and Lordi abseiled down into the ring, kicking off the show with “Hard Rock Hallelujah”, laughing and jeering at the fallen E. Honda. The crowd went wild, and we partied all night long. E14 successfully promoted overseas, and mission accomplished.

Or I might have choked on my own vomit in the armpit of a morbidly obese nude guy and had to be resuscitated. I forget which.

1 comment:

  1. For a second there, I thought you were saying that Rutget Hauer WAS the E14 logo... Actually, that would be quite cool.

    By an amazing coincidence, I have Optimus Prime on my crotch.

    Work it, you metal bitch! Ah, yeah... that's gooo-ooo-oood...